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Houston man accused of trying to sell $317M worth of non-existent N95 masks to Australian government pleads guilty, authorities say

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HOUSTON – A Houston man accused of scheming to fraudulently sell millions of N95 masks to the Australian government has pleaded guilty, according to a news release by the US Department of Justice.

In April 2020, officials said 56-year-old Arael Doolittle made an attempt to sell 50 million 3M N95 masks he did not have to the Australian government.

Officials said Doolittle was supposed to receive $317 million for the masks, but the fraud scheme was discovered before the transaction could be finalized.

As a result, Doolittle was charged in connection with the pandemic-related fraud. His sentencing hearing is scheduled for Oct. 25.

Doolittle could face up to five years in federal prison and a possible $250,000 fine.

Anyone with information about allegations of attempted fraud involving COVID-19 can report it by calling the Department of Justice’s National Center for Disaster Fraud (NCDF) Hotline at 866-720-5721 or via the NCDF Web Complaint Form.


About the Author:

Daniela Sternitzky-Di Napoli has been a digital news editor at KPRC 2 since 2018. She is a published poet and has background in creative writing and journalism. Daniela has covered events like Hurricane Harvey and the Astros World Series win. In her spare time, Daniela is an avid reader and loves to spend time with her two miniature dachshunds.